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Novalima • Sunday June 21st, 2015 • Concert Review
by Evan Verploegh - Cedar intern
The Cedar apart from the other wonderful selection of music venues we are lucky
enough to have in the Twin Cities is the ability and influence that allows you
to attend concerts you otherwise would normally not. Novalima put this on full display on their
recent visit to The Cedar. They brought
a high level of entertainment and musicianship to a crowd that was equal part
long-time fans and newcomers.
The show was kicked off by the talented and well-loved Chico Chavez Ensemble. A respectable sized crowd gathered for the quartet to deliver a short but sweet set of latin-jazz. The local Chavez was humorous as he was energetic onstage and his backing “ensemble” allowed the crowd to loosen up and get comfortable. As a long time bandleader, Chavez oozed a certain swagger that drew his audience in.
Soon after Chavez’s closing notes came to a halt, Novalima quickly dove into their high vigor, highly danceable set. The seven piece act were in cozy quarters onstage at The Cedar, as was the sizable crowd. Novalima constructed their show with their latest album, the critically raved Planetario, as the focal point The Peruvian band provided a vigorous hour and a half set that never let up.
Novalima fluidly wove in and out of different genres as the night went on, keeping the audience on their toes. While always keeping a latin sensibility, the band explored soul, jazz, psychedelic rock and even electronic music. You could tell the variety of influences that the band had and they used them all to their advantage. When lead vocalist Milanos Guerrero wasn’t belting out Spanish vocals, the tightness of the rhythm section allowed the crowd to engage in some salsa-style dancing, some better than others.
The Cedar took on the environment of a cookout on Sunday night, with multiple generation families all coming out to enjoy the band. It was fun to observe the interaction with the crowd as the band spoke both in English and Spanish, both eliciting raucous responses. By the end of the night, Novalima bonded even closer to the fans that came out to see them and developed new friendships to those who had not experienced the band before. Novalima wore the influences, their passions and their hearts on their sleeves Sunday night and the audience responded in the only possible way. In dance.